Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Berlin Insane

Exterior of Pale Music HQ in Berlin; photo by Val PhoenixTomorrow, were I not otherwise engaged (and far away), I would definitely get myself over to SO36 (a venue I STILL have never been inside, though I have passed by) in Berlin to see the lineup gathered for Berlin Insane: the next chapter of Pale Music. It includes Mona Mur & En Esch, Italoporno, Kill the Dandies and Pale supremo Steve Morell on the decks.

During my recent visit to Berlin, I stopped by Pale HQ to speak with Steve, as a longtime observer of the alternative scene, about gentrification. He had a lot to say, but concluded he fears the powers-that-be want to clean up the city. "Keep Berlin dirty" is his mantra.

As it happens, I also met up with Mona Mur, at photographer Ilse Ruppert's birthday gathering. Just back from touring Poland and the Czech Republic, Mona was buzzing, the kids digging her brutalist industrial vibe. As we left Ilse's flat, Mona spotted the bus we were both meant to be getting and set off on a sprint in her high-heeled boots. Shod in sensible shoes, I quickly outpaced her, but she still made the bus. I was impressed. "These are my stage shoes," she declared, once we were seated on the top deck. From there she directed my attention to various landmarks, including former locations of the wall. Berlin by Night, with the Queen of Darkness. Now that's a tour.
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